The shameless tradition of open defecation in Lagos and Ogun communities is brewing a critical public well being disaster, in response to well being consultants LARA ADEJORO who visited the communities report that residents are vulnerable to cholera, typhoid and different an infection outbreaks:
For normal commuters journeying from Ogun to Lagos State by way of the ever-busy Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, seeing individuals participating in open defecation on that standard route has turn into virtually a standard incidence.
Every day, many individuals are sighted on this route, sneaking out underneath the duvet of darkness; some cover behind shrubs and bushes at daybreak; others squat underneath bridges – they’re all going to such troubles to reply the decision of nature.
Privateness just isn’t a selection for them. They take to the towpaths, public areas, busy roadsides, and even the highways.
They’re the bus drivers, passengers, road urchins and passers-by. Generally, they decrease their heads in an try and cowl their indignity whereas on it.
Nonetheless, past the embarrassment of those folks, the unhygienic apply of open defecation, in response to well being consultants, helps infections to fester and their unfold widened. Amongst its important well being dangers, physicians stated, are deaths from diarrhoea, cholera, and typhoid
And the apply just isn’t about to finish
Regardless of the Govt Order 009 titled “The Open Defecation-Free Nigeria by 2025 and Different Associated Issues Order”, which was signed by the President, Main Normal Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) in November 2019, the menace nonetheless thrives.
Based on UNICEF, round 46 million Nigerians defecate within the open. One other 56 million individuals are estimated to be added inside the subsequent ten years.
From Lagos-Ibadan Expressway to Kara and from Berger to Ojota, heaps of faeces, most instances with maggots, are scattered across the highway.
Some folks have blamed this unhygienic apply on poverty and lack of presidency help in offering bathroom services. Others, nevertheless, have argued that in locations the place the ability is on the market, defecating within the open nonetheless prevails.
“It’s a private factor. No affordable particular person will defecate in open locations. Generally, they may simply come down from the bus or their vehicles any time of the day and bend anyplace to defecate,” stated the top of the Kara Market, alongside Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Ogun State, Mr. Mutairu Agboola.
He added that a number of the individuals who have interaction within the apply really look wealthy and clever.
“You’ll assume they know higher however they don’t. We’ve got bogs available in the market right here. So, the individuals who do such will not be folks right here.
“The Ogun State authorities officers used to patrol right here to place this factor in test however I believe they stopped a 12 months in the past,” he stated.
Simply on the roads, there are mounds of darkish brown strong-smelling excreta on the lanes and the walkways.
The sarki in cost OPIC/Kara, Mr. Umaru Hamisu, defined how a lot of the perpetrators time their actions.
“These folks excrete in the midst of the evening, not within the morning. Generally, they’re passengers who’re travelling; generally they’re the world boys.”
Based on him, some folks can’t afford to pay the cash to defecate within the public bathroom, so that they take to the highway to alleviate themselves.
A test on the pit latrines constructed with zinc by the residents confirmed that they’re soiled and stinking, with a excessive chance of mosquito infestation.
“If you wish to poo, you’ll pay N100, however if you wish to urinate, you’ll pay N50,” one of many officers stated.
Additionally, at Wawa, a suburb on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, from the boardwalk to the bushes and underneath the bridge, the sight is sickening. Dry and recent human wastes are in all places.
Residents say they’re fed up seeing faeces round, along with the hazard of contracting ailments.
“Simply stroll a bit to the highway, you will notice all method of faeces there. They may simply come down from their vehicles or bus to heap the factor there,” one of many residents, Mr. Seun Ajayi, stated.
Lack of public conveniences
At Berger motor park, there is just one useful public bathroom serving the people-the drivers, passengers, passers-by.
The opposite fashionable bathroom facility constructed by the state authorities on the Berger/Ojodu park is underneath lock and key.
To keep away from an accident, anyone pressed can enter a shack or an uncompleted constructing round to alleviate themselves, freed from cost.
Our correspondent learnt that the one useful bathroom opens at 6 am and closes at 9 pm. Thus, when nature calls on travellers or highway transport staff thereafter, the choice is clear.
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